Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ROSA Spotlight: Romy Sommer

In an effort to really get to know each other, we thought it would be a good idea to publish a series of interviews with fellow ROSA members to learn more about who they are, what they've published and what makes them tick.

We'd like ALL our members to feature, so please drop our chairperson, Romy an email on and she'll send you some questions to answer.

And speaking of our Chair, to kickoff our ROSA Spotlight Interviews, here's Romy Sommer.

What is the last romance novel you read?

Tina Reber’s Love Unscripted. Warning: it’s a long book – don’t read it if you’re looking for a quick evening’s entertainment!

What type of Romance / what genre do you write?

I write contemporary fairy tale romances and shorter 1920s historical romances.

Are you published yet? If so, with whom?

I have 11 novels and novellas published. My first three novellas were originally published by The Wild Rose Press, but I’ve subsequently re-released them on my own, and my four contemporary romances are published by HarperCollins. I’ve also self-published under another name.

What was the inspiration behind your last book?

The book I currently have out on submission began as fan fiction. I never thought I’d be the person to write fan fiction, but it was a fun story that was never intended to go anywhere, just a diversion when ‘real’ writing was stressing me out. For the first 4 years it was saved on my desktop as ‘Just for fun’. In the six years since I started it, it’s grown very far from that original story and has taken on a life of its own. I really hope this story finds a home with an editor who will love it as much as I do!

Not a Fairy Tale was nominated for the RWA's Rita Award in 2016

What is your proudest achievement as a writer?

Being nominated for an RWA Rita award. Knowing how stiff the competition for that award is, and that as a peer review award it’s even harder to win over other authors, this nomination was a massive honour for me.

What advice would you give someone who tells you they want to write?

Don’t quit! The writers who are published are the ones who never gave up.

What keeps you motivated to write?

I would keep on writing regardless, but the one thing that keeps me motivated is the dream of doing this full-time. Until I have dozens of books out there, all earning, some winning acclaim, I’m not giving up!

Tell us about the first love story you ever wrote.

The first love story I wrote was actually two parallel stories about two women whose lives intersect even though they don’t meet until the very end. I didn’t even realize it was a romance until my friend (and co-ROSA founder) Mandy read it and told me I had a ‘voice for Romance’. I went out and bought a pile of second hand romances to find out what she meant, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

What is the best part about being part of ROSA?

The fact that ROSA even exists! Once upon a time, this organization was nothing more than a figment of my imagination. It astounds me how far we’ve come!

Connect with Romy!
Facebook page: 
Twitter: @romy_s 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Your Facebook Book Launch Step by Step

Welcome to 2017, where you don’t need to give people people cupcakes and wine and hold thumbs that they will buy your novel at your book launch. You can successfully launch your book online with a Facebook event. It’s easy, inexpensive and has tremendous reach.

Who participates?

Your readers / target audience and fellow authors in your genre (exhaust all your contacts, don’t hold back. Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is the same as a ‘No’.).

What’s in it for you?

You reach wa-aay more people (hundreds, possibly thousands), with more meaningful interactions than you ever could with an in - person launch. It’s also costs next to nothing to pull off. You can be creative. Just pretend you’re already a best selling author, and you’re ready to rock.

What will it cost?

Although you will not be spending money on wine, snacks, a venue, an outfit, transport, a photographer and giving away paper versions of your book - you will be investing your time in preparing for the event and time on the day. Don’t worry, you can do it in your PJs and slippers if you want to, no problem.

What’s in it for the guests?

Not only do your readers (and fellow authors) get to chat online in a live Q&A (I like the game: ‘Ask the Author Anything’), there will also be books (digital) given away - and who can resist a free book?? Some authors give away paperbacks / signed copies / other swag / Amazon gift cards - it’s all up to the author. The best giveaways are the ones where it’s simple, but with a kickback for you, the author. For example: If you like my Facebook page or sign up to my newsletter (insert links for convenience) I’ll send you a free digital copy of my book!

Step 1: Prepare a media kit for your book (*= required)

  • Cover images *
  • Blurb *
  • Teasers (best done with images and excerpts from the book - use  *
  • Video trailer
  • Author bio *
  • Excerpts of reviews / bloggger comments *
  • Anything else you can brag about like other press coverage

Step 2: Create a Facebook Event

  • Create an event on FB from your FB author page about 2 weeks before the event date.
  • Set a date and time (this can be a couple of hours in a particular day or it run for a few days, that depends on you). Keep time zones in mind.
  • Use to create stunning artwork for your event cover / banner.
  • Write a decent description of  your event. Say it is a launch, explain how it will work (See Step 3). Include all your social media links/ handles etc.
  • Make sure the settings allow for invited guests to invite others. The more the merrier.
  • Invite as many people as you know.

Step 3: Line up the “entertainment”

  • Ask fellow authors in your genre to share the stage with you and promote their work.This is great because it’s generous and helps build a sense of community. You can decide on criteria like only authors who have released a book in a last year if you want to.
  • Decide on how long their timeslot will be and on which day.
  • Make a schedule and stick to it. Remember to give yourself a timeslots too!
  • Get them to confirm their participation and send them reminders.
  • Suggest some ideas to them and recommend they get a media kit ready (see Step 1).
  • The idea is that they will keep the momentum going on your event page by introducing themselves, sharing excerpts and reviews of their book, take part in live Q&A and do a giveaway / run a competition. Sometimes this means that you have to get the ball rolling by asking the first question or being the first to comment.

Step 4: Leading up to the event

  • Finalise that schedule.
  • Promote / tell people about the event.
  • Boost your event by paying FB a small sum of money to reach even more people. This will cast the audience net even wider, which is what you want.
  • Prepare your giveaways / competition criteria.

Step 5: On the day / days

  • Make yourself available to introduce the authors participating.
  • Have some questions prepared in case the audience is slow.
  • Be positive and upbeat.
  • Make sure whatever is happening is relevant, interesting and engaging. Varying the content with live video/ music videos / recorded videos / images and soon will really help.
  • Promote your book!
  • Ask for Follows / LIKES and Subscribers
  • Engage with your audience.
  • Give of yourself and be yourself - that’s the whole point.
  • Ask a friend or two to LIVE Tweet your event with hashtag.
  • Share images on Instagram / status updates of what’s happening on your event page on your FB author page.

Why not participate in our very own ROSA member, Erica Taylor’s Facebook Book Launch for her debut novel, A Suitable Affair? Invite all your romance lovin’ friends too!

©Cindi Page 2017

Cindi Page is a digital marketer by day and romance novelist by night. She Indie-published her first novel, A Piece of My Heart, in 2016 and her second and third books are due for release late 2017. Connect: /@1stTruLove /FB: cindi page author /